SF is getting left behind on broadband; how would you address this?
As other cities deploy fiber optic broadband, SF is getting left behind, putting our residents and businesses at a disadvantage, exacerbating the digital divide. Demand exists but incumbent carriers aren't interested in fiber. Municipal efforts have been studied, remain largely unfunded, local ISPs face a very complex permitting process to be able to deploy fiber. What practical steps would you take to make fiber broadband a reality in SF?
Jeff Quiros commented
Let's get behind deployment of fiber optic broadband in San Francisco. How will you support this?
Peter J. Pratt commented
The effort by SF Fiber to seek to have the City's significant fiber assets made available to providers should be strongly supported by our new mayor. ISPs, other providers, and any certificated carriers interested should be able to access the abundant dark fiber in City right-of-way today.
Yes, streamlined permitting should be enabled, but that won't drop the cost structure to the degree that access to the City fiber will. In terms of open public data, the City fiber routes and served buildings should be fully available for public online study. I'm not saying they are not, only that I haven't seen them to date.
Make access to the dark fiber available. Many of us in the industry will serioulsy look at lighting it ourselves, in order to at least support multiple dwelling units (MDUs). That will raise the competitive bar, and drive the broadband ecosystem in the City.
The key question in all of this is to what degree the City fiber is restricted for use in municipal communciations only, as is typical of such assets around the nation.
Lastly, AT&T is right to move ahead with its sidewealk mounted nodes. The only winner in the continuing effort to restrict AT&T's broadband deployment is Comcast. SF has two cable / broadband franchises in law, but only one in reality.
It is time to let AT&T build its access network, and release the City fiber to providers that use it.